Lightweight camping offers freedom. We enjoy having a minimal amount of stuff. When alongside car and van campers, we don’t usually look at other people’s set-ups and their comfortable kit longingly—except perhaps when it comes to a table and chairs. After years of spreading a groundsheet on the floor for all our camping meals, we were extremely curious and quite excited when Nigor sent us a rather expensive lightweight table and chairs to review.
We got the large aluminium table which seats four comfortably. It’s true the ends are less practical than the sides to sit at but are good enough. It weighs 2.5kg and takes under a minute to assemble. It wipes clean easily and is sturdy as a work surface for chopping vegetables. The table top folds away in a concertina style, which means it fits easily in our trailer kit bag.
Nigor [pronounced ‘nee-gaw’] sent us three different models of chair: two Kingfishers, a Sparrow and a Morningbird. The Kingfisher (1.3kg) is the chair of choice of the grown ups as the full back rest allows you to lean right back and enjoy the head support.
The other models, Morningbird (930g) and Sparrow (1kg), are used in our family by the children. However, they are still comfortable for a grown up and weigh slightly less than the Kingfisher. Our children were more than happy to cycle with their chair in one of their panniers. On occasion, the grown-ups favoured the lower sitting position.
Pros: Nigor lightweight table and chairs
Assembly is both swift and intuitive. There were no instructions but the tent pole style frames snap together extremely easily. In fact, we only noticed the lack of instructions when we had finished putting the chairs together. It took us a little longer to figure out how the table top clipped on the first time but once you know, it’s easy!
The lightweight table and chairs are both made from TRX Eco-Duraluminium which is more environmentally friendly. A big plus as far as we’re concerned.
In addition, both the lightweight table and chairs are well-made and seem extremely durable. The fabric used on the chairs dries quickly and repels spillages. After a summer of spills such as tomato ketchup, soy sauce and red wine the fabric looked as good as new.
Cons: Nigor lightweight table and chairs
Firstly, the chairs are so lightweight that they fall over extremely easily. Of course we wouldn’t want them any heavier. So we got into the habit of putting them on their sides when not in use to prevent them from blowing over. Our son quickly learned not to swing back on the chair as he easily tipped right over.
Secondly, they still add weight to the pack. Though lovely to have at a campsite, they are not an absolute necessity. We would be more likely to take them when we are travelling by train and cycling a short distance to a campsite (like Edale) which we will use as a base for a few days. When moving on frequently and cycling longer distances we will continue to make use of a groundsheet instead of the lightweight table and chairs. For example on our Trans Pennine Trail trip we couldn’t justify the extra weight and extra items to handle when making and breaking camp.
Retailing at a total of around €500 the price tag of the lightweight table and chairs is quite high. Are they worth it though? We think it is worth buying decent, high quality kit which has a low impact on the environment. They are well-made and durable and so you would only have to buy them once.
So would we recommend the lightweight table and chairs? We certainly enjoyed having a table and chairs for tent mealtimes. They are lightweight enough to carry on a bicycle and are easy to assemble and dismantle. However, on a trip where we move on everyday, we’d probably leave them at home. Nonetheless, for a single destination trip or a long trip with a few nights in each place we are certain to squeeze them into our luggage.